Thursday, September 08, 2016

No Contest

It is unsettling to me when I consider the fact that there are a number of people that I know personally - whose intellects I respect and admire - who are openly supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump. This is a fact that I've found myself wrestling with as the weeks heading up to the November election come upon us. What is it? Could it possibly be a mere anti-Clinton reflex that is as innate as Pavlov's doggies salivating at the bells of doom? Or is it something a little more complicated than that? Whatever it is, I have yet to figure it out.
That being said, I do hope that the people I'm  referring to had a chance to check out last night's candidates forum that was presented by NBC News and hosted by Matt Lauer. I watched at the home of my cousin, Kevin Cullen. After viewing this spectacle, I'm still far-from-convinced that Hillary Clinton has what it takes to be even a mildly competent chief-executive. Quite frankly I'm not brimming over with confidence that she could guide the ship of state through the troubled international waters that define the second decade of the twenty-first century. Maybe a year or two of a Clinton administration will cure my apprehension; maybe not. I remain ambivalent.
Here's where I'm beyond a molecule of doubt: Sending the Donald to the White House would be an even larger, catastrophic blunder than the electoral error that was naively committed by the American people sixteen years ago when they sent Dubya to Washington. This certainty on my part was only reinforced last night. It's almost as if he believes he can cure all that ails the planet with a mere snap of his gnarled little fingers. The guy is so poignantly arrogant that it almost melts the heart. 
To be honest with you, the only person on the stage last evening who made a somewhat of an impression was Matt Lauer - if you can believe that! I have never been sold on the guy's journalistic chops; at a time when television news is pining for another Edward R. Murrow, poor old Matt is really nothing more that a cardboard cutout. My opinion slightly shifted last night - ever-so-slightly, mind you. He still has quite a ways to go before he reaches the mountaintop, but considering the two vague and dodgy candidates he was forced to contend with, I thought he handled the situation fairly well. Perhaps the guy's got a future after all. Then again, if the national political dialogue can get to such a state where Matt Lauer ends up looking as good as he did that night, we're in one hell of a fix.
In addition to the friends of mine who are supporting Donald Trump, there are those who are beside themselves with terror that he might, in fact, manage to get himself elected. I can only say to them, "Relax folks". Not even those blatantly un-constitutional voter ID laws are going to make something that completely weird happen. The only thing that will put The Donald in the White House on January 20 will be a coup d'état. Nothing that extreme is bound to happen, at least not at this point in our history....I think.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

In Memory of Suzanne Hubner Arnowitz

I was blessed to call Suzy Arnowitz a beloved friend for nearly thirty years. She finally passed away last Saturday from the cancer that had been in-and-out of remission for forty-one years - from the time she was only a child of seventeen. In spite of that, her death comes as a nearly insurmountable blow to all who loved her, which was everyone lucky enough to have known her. We always knew that somehow she would overcome. I suppose this time Heaven needed her more. Who could blame them?

I realize now that I never knew anyone who suffered more than Suzy did during her short time on this earth, although this realization comes only with the benefit of hindsight. While she walked among us, the only side of herself she presented to the world was filled with love, laughter and music. She was not merely a gifted composer and musician, her voice could only be described as heavenly.

And then there was that smile - that incredible smile one could read at midnight by....

I'm not ashamed to tell you that I was hopelessly in love with Suzy Arnowitz. Everyone was. The heck with Lou Gehrig; her husband, Glenn, is luckiest man on the face of the earth.

In the hours before she left us, Suzy penned this note to her daughters, Kara and Lisa:
“Do you know how much you are loved? I love you everyday and twice on Sunday. You are my sunshine, my joy, my air. Always care for each other and please practice forgiveness, listening and mindfulness. Be happy! Be goofy and make life fun! And like I always say… spread the love around. Be fearless because God is always with you and so am I. I know that you will do great things in this world, my darlings.”

Suzy and I were two months, two weeks, and two days apart in age. That I actually knew this kind, beautiful, talented and lovely woman is almost hard to fathom. There are times when I cannot believe my good fortune.

She was an angel. She still is, you know. She still is.


At 4:27 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...


What do you believe needs to be done to correct our current ship of state?

At 4:48 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Tom, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Suzy. I pray that God welcomes her into His loving embrace and comforts you and all those that loved and knew her.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

We're all in this situation: "a number of people that I know personally - whose intellects I respect and admire - who are openly supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump. What is it?

It's not a mystery.

I've learned from John Dean's book "Conservatives without Conscience" that roughly 20 to 25% of any general population are authoritarian personalities. They gravitate to the Right because Right Wing Authoritarian leaders draw their followers from that segment of the population.

Even the brain's physical biochemistry is different between Right Wing Authoritarians and the rest of us. Their amygdalas, the reptilian primitive fear/flight/fight centers of the brain, are more active than ours.

So that accounts for the bulk of Trump's supporters. You are right about the balance of Trumpies being due to an "anti-Clinton reflex that is as innate as Pavlov's doggies salivating" due to the corporate, as well as far Right, media parroting over 20 years of innuendo, conspiracy theories and outright lies about Hillary.

I'm not saying that she isn't guilty of poor judgment, secrecy, cronyism, rife with neo-liberal and neocon appeasement, but these characteristics are the rule, rather than exception, to today's politicians. She gets the bile for being a Democrat and a woman.

There really and truly was, and is, a vast far Right conspiracy against the Clintons, as well as Obama, from the Starr chamber to The Birther-in-Chief being exhibits A through Z.

The Republicans are set to de-legitimize every Democratic President. They've been doing just that since Hillary's husband beat an insider-elite Bush for the White House.

After 20 odd years of this incessant propaganda moving the goalposts and working the refs, election tampering, and voter suppression, it's no wonder we are on the verge of becoming Trump Nation.

This country is getting what it deserves.

Trump at a November 2015 Ft Dodge Iowa rally:

“I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way, but only when we win.”

"Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. War is peace."

We are now "post-1984".

At 6:16 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Everyone who is eligible to vote should vote - not only in the general elections, but in the primaries as well. That would go a long ways toward correction.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you for your thoughts, T. Paine. Suzie Arnowitz was light. That's the one word I can use to describe her.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

Tom, sorry for the loss of your friend. :(

As for who will vote for Trump, to insult those people is not helpful. I know a lot of very nice people who say that's who they support. A lot of the support comes from believing we are on the wrong trajectory, and Hillary won't change it. This comes in things like trade deals as well as the health care that has been an open purse for the corporations. It comes out of concern the banks got the first Clinton to end meaningful regulation and the next won't be better given from where her funding is coming. One woman said she believed even if Trump does make mistakes, it's better to change where we are heading. I think that explains it more than racism-- not that there might be some of that also. Mostly it comes down to a distrust of Hillary and a belief she has lied most of her life with it being a pattern. Accompanied by a belief she could do more damage than Trump. Now whether that's true, who knows. I am totally disillusioned with this election and wish I had the belief one of these two was a good choice. Right or left wing voters are likely the happiest right now.

One thing that has disillusioned me is how the media has been so unfair in their headlines, how people take what they read as truth without double checking. Like the latest with Trump saying he was against the war from the start. Yes, he did on Howard Stern, not exactly a political show, say he guessed it was okay. It didn't take long though before he was saying something quite the opposite-- and many times in articles even. I don't think a casual comment on Stern means much of a stand on the issue but more of-- don't know. If the media would paint it that way, I'd have more respect for them.

I thought Johnson was an alternative until he didn't know what Aleppo was. Seriously how could that be given the situation of the refugees and how this has been a big problem.

It might sound like I support Trump but I don't. I don't like either. And see both capable of doing a lot of damage in the next four years with no real alternative for voters. Maybe it'll seem different to me after the debate. I hope so because I would hate to have to vote for someone I truly felt wasn't good but because the alternative was worse. For me, this is the lesser of two evils and which one is it...

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I'm one that believes Trump cannot win, but I thought that about Bush winning the second time. I don't underestimate the stupidity of the American voter. Even if Trump loses, it's scary that more than 50 million will cast a vote for the demagogue.
Tim Kane is no comfort to help Clinton no matter what problems come up, but I have been surprised by politicians before.
It's easy to believe the folks who claim Trump is throwing this election. He is doing everything possible to lose. But just as what happened in the primaries, after each ridiculous statement he makes, his poll numbers keep going up.
Trump was about 12 points behind one week after the Democratic convention; now the polls are almost even again. WOW! The American voter strikes again.
Don't bet your house that Trump will lose Tom, I'd hate to see you homeless.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Have to add:
Chris Wallace says it's not his job to point out when one of the candidates is lying. And Matt Lauer did little to hold Trump to the truth of his statements. It's sad that American journalists don't think it's part of their job to seek the truth, or highlight what they know is a lie. That's worse and more dangerous than a demagogue like Trump being so close to the White House.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. At my age that seems to happen almost weekly.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

As I stated, some of the people I love and respect the most are voting for the Donald. I don't know why, but I don't love them any less.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

…some of the people I love and respect the most are voting for the Donald. I don't know why, but I don't love them any less.

Absolutely true for me, as well as most of us I imagine. I attempted to explain the Right Wing Authoritarian personality as a significant factor in Trumpism. The other factor being the ongoing media parroting every far Right lie, accusation, false scandal, and conspiracy theory they threw against the wall, hoping some of it will stick. And obviously it has worked in their favor.

The other factor is this. Politics is religion.

“Lock her up”, is chanted by the hate-filled Trump cult. Not one of them can cite her crime, not that it matters to true believers. They find their rallies offer reassurance and validation for their hate and resentments, just as church offers reassurance and validation for religious beliefs.

Intelligent people embrace this Trump belief system like other intelligent people have embraced Scientology’s Galactic Overlord Xenu lunacy.

Yes, even intelligent people have a need for beliefs. It is why we have religions for guidance and comfort.

Politics is a religion as a means to power and control. It is based on beliefs over facts, personality over reality, and image over substance. This is true of both our major parties, as they throw out every type of lie and misrepresentation they can imagine.

“Obama is a foreign Muslim”. “Obama founded ISIS”. “Climate change is a Chinese hoax”, etc.

True believers will either accept this talk without question, or they will shrug it off, believing their man’s greatness, or his opponent’s great evil, justifies their hate and resentment. This renders facts irrelevant. As the Right mocks Obama the messiah, Trump is now their messiah.

Truth is the first casualty in war and politics.

It is about instilling beliefs, and their narratives are aided and abetted by the corporate and far Right media.

A great example of that narrative isfrom:


Many seemed to float in a zone of half-belief.

The most widespread of these suspicions, of course—shared by 66 percent of Trump supporters—is that Obama is Muslim.

What the people I interviewed were drawn to was not necessarily the particulars of these theories. It was the deep story underlying them—an account of life as it feels to them. Some such account underlies all beliefs, right or left, I think. The deep story of the right goes like this:

You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black—beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you're being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He's on their side. In fact, isn't he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It's not your government anymore; it's theirs.

I checked this distillation with those I interviewed to see if this version of the deep story rang true. Some altered it a bit…But all of them agreed it was their story. One man said, "I live your analogy." Another said, "You read my mind."

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Your statement about not loving those of your friends less because they are voting for Trump is the most caring comment you have made.

Tip of the hat to you Sir!

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Major major, to answer your question. We must do something about the education level in this country. Anyone supporting Trump at this point is too stupid to be walking around in public. He sat on NATIONAL TV the other night and LITERALLY committed and act of treason. It's unbelievable. He talks about what happened in a SECURITY BRIEFING. (of course, he made it up. Body language? Really?) He Said "Our top Generals have been reduced to rubble". Nice, Good thing it's not being broadcast AROUND THE WORLD! And then he PRAISES A COMMUNIST DICTATOR AND TRASHES THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!

Tell us what YOU would have posted if say, Obama had done that against Bush in 08?

I won't hold my breath for an honest answer.

Sorry for your loss, Tom.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

No contest Tom, Hillary is unfit to be President:

Ding Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead!

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...


Can you remember what the Democrat Party's leadership said about the surge?

Who just sat next to a Communist Dictator at a ballgame?

Which country is Communist, Russia or Cuba?

Which political group has supporters who have trashed the US President by claiming 9-11 was an inside job?

Me thinks my dear lad, you protest too much and remember even less.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Major major

I could not help but notice that you did not once mention Trump in your reply. Could you please address the issue I mentioned and stop deflecting?

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Major Chuck is at it again, all questions, innuendo and no information.

In 2009 Putin's United Russia Party proclaimed "Russian Conservatism" as its official ideology and represents ultra-nationalism's intentions to re-establish a Russian empire.

Sounds like a certain American party.

Putin is a dictator who suppresses the press, free speech and democracy. His critics are often assassinated.

In other words, a man Trump admires, "I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader...the man has very strong control over a country."

Now Trump the would-be dictator wants to pillage "our oil" in Iraq. That openly brazen war crime should work out swell.

Lock him up! Lock him up! No war criminal presidents!

Whoops, too late now, isn't it?

Which political group has supporters who have trashed the US President by claiming 9-11 was an inside job?

The most outspoken group would be avid Trump supporter and conspiracy nut Alex Jones and his fans, amirite?

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Conservative compassion, exhibit A:

Ding Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead!

At 1:58 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

If having pneumonia disqualifies you from being president, then so should having hair that looks like cotton candy made from urine.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

I know you are reluctantly support HRC. But if she were unable to continue her campaign would you support her running mate with the same degree of ardor if he were at the top of the ticket?

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Major, are you going to address Trump's TREASON on national TV the other night?

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Hey Tom, What's the average lagtime on a post?

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

More "heroics" from fascist Trump supporting thugs.

Basket of Deplorables: Exhibit A:

Man at Trump Rally Hits 2 Protesters in the Head

Outside the arena another Trump Thug struck and knocked down an old lady and her oxygen tank.

“I can run this country better than Trump!”

A tough, near 70 year old Shirly Teeter of Asheville, NC, shouts with a bloody arm after she took a sucker punch to the jaw and was forced to the ground by a Trump supporter at the rally in Asheville this Monday. She was treated on sight by local EMS for a wound to her left arm, but was left shaken, battered, and pissed. With an oxygen tank and fierce attitude, Shirly was at the Rally to protest Donald Trump, and when the crowd let out, a resident of Edisto Island, SC, struck Shirly in the face and knocked her to the ground in front of several witnesses.

I disagree with Hillary on a lot of things, but she nailed these Trump Thugs properly as a "basket of deplorables".

Not all of them are thugs; some are decent but very misguided and misinformed people. Hillary acknowledged this.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

How can you expect any of your statements to be taken serious when you believe Russia is still Communist ?

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

How's this for Pence showing he's the "deplorable" sharing Mein Drumpf's ticket?

Pence declined to categorize Trump backer -- and white nationalist -- David Duke as "deplorable."

"I'm not in the name-calling business," Pence told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

No, he’s just sharing the ticket with one of the worst name-callers ever.

“If you won’t say the KKK is deplorable, you have no business running the country”. HRC

Mic drop!

At 5:00 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

Mozart, the lag time is too long that is why I hardly comment here any more. James

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...


Why don't you stop deflecting and answer to Trump committing TREASON an national TV?

Because you NEVER answer questions when the HONEST answer does not suit your agenda.

BTW, Putin is EX KGB. If you don't think he's 100% in charge then you are an idiot. They are worse now than under Kruschev.

But then YOU would know more about Communism than the rest of us, given your obsession with all the websites.

If Obama was in bed with Putin would they be Communist THEN?

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

You have a lot of nerve calling anyone an idiot.

Tom I thought you were not going to post submissions that were not on topic or attacked others?

Have the rules changed?

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

More deflection and WHINING from Clucky.

ONE MORE question he refuses to address because he's too much of a COWARD to do so.

Instead of running to "Mommy" and crying why not JUST ANSWER THE FREAKING QUESTIONS FOR A CHANGE!

No? Then take your medicine. I asked you about TRUMP. How is that NOT on subject? You asked a question, I IMMEDIATELY answered. Try it sometime

At 1:46 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Hey Clucky. I never called you and idiot. I said if you think a certain thing is true you are an idiot.

Do you REALLY think Putin answers to ANYONE other than himself? Amazing that at the same time that your conservative heroes have been lambasting H. Clinton and President Obama for "Allowing the rise of a dangerous and aggressive dictator" in Putin, YOU now claim that he's OK because he likes Trump.(And Trump likes him as well, nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Your position is indefensible. What's funnier is, you KNOW that. How do I KNOW that? I see how you respond to simple, honest questions. Not with answers, but with grade school "I know you are but what am I" deflections.

Trump is a con artist, and he's committed outright TREASON on national, actually INTERNATIONAL television for all to see.

All but the willfully blind, that is.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

I'm sure Hillary will have a Doctor prepare a report that says she is fit as a fiddle and we are all to believe the lying witch. amirite?

Slick Willie couldn't control his big mouth when he said she has frequent, oops, I meant rare Parkinson's disease like seizures.

LOL that Powell's hacked emails say Hillary is incompetent and that she still hates Barry the Bullshit artist.

Thanks for the laughs Democrats!

At 2:12 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Archie (cluckie)
Hillary had pneumonia. It's common, and CURABLE.

When are you going to talk about Trump's TREASON?

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...


Hillary lied about her health. She is not even able to tell the truth about that.

Tom agrees with you and I, Hillary lies.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Cluckie. Hillary had Pneumonia. IT'S CURABLE AND COMMON.


At 1:31 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Don't you just love how the sane ones understand both lie, but the willfully blind fanatic Trumpies call Hillary the liar? LOL!!!

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Tom agrees, Hillary is a lair. You are in the minority believing she isn't.

Now she is stealing from the poor.

Wells Fargo fraud department inundated with calls from low-income Clinton supporters reporting repeated unauthorized withdrawals.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is stealing from her poorest supporters by purposefully and repeatedly overcharging them after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website, multiple sources tell the Observer.

The overcharges are occurring so often that the fraud department at one of the nation’s biggest banks receives up to 100 phone calls a day from Clinton’s small donors asking for refunds for unauthorized charges to their bankcards made by Clinton’s campaign. One elderly Clinton donor, who has been a victim of this fraud scheme, has filed a complaint with her state’s attorney general and a representative from the office told her that they had forwarded her case to the Federal Election Commission.

Now what do you say about that?

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Majormajor quotes Observer Media.

Fact: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

Maybe the story is true, but this is from the folks who view climate change as a Chinese hoax and Obama founded ISIS and Putin is a role model.


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